Dr Vivek Kumar Mishra
It is beyond any doubt that Pakistan is using terrorism as an instrument of its foreign policy. Every political party in Pakistan is using these jihadi organisations for its political benefits. This view is recently supported by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali, who has stated that “some political parties in Pakistan are backing terrorists to further their party interests.” Pakistan is using terrorism to wage proxy war against India because for them the use of terrorism is cheap and effective. Pakistani Army cannot win a war directly so they use jihadi groups as a most effective tool to achieve their interests in Afghanistan and India.
India has responded to all attacks which took place in Jammu & Kashmir but recent attacks demand for an alert security grid and sophisticated policy response. India needs to let its
adversaries know it is a powerful country capable of more than mere rhetoric. New Delhi will examine and consider options which will protect our national interest. The mature
judgment based on a cost-effective analysis, that led to the withholding of ‘direct action’ in the form of an overt attack on Pakistani targets. A mature nation like India could hardly afford to function like a ‘rogue state’, viz. Pakistan. India has a range of options in the military, economic and
diplomatic realms to start imposing increasing costs on Pakistan in a calibrated and gradually escalating manner. The following options can be applied in the present situation:
1. Diplomatic Isolation: The first strategy should be diplomatic isolation. It is a long term strategy. PM Modi has already given its nod to make every possible effort to isolate and expose Pakistan globally. India has already isolated Pakistan in the UNGA. New Delhi should also be ready to downgrade diplomatic relations with Pakistan in all possible ways.
2. Economic Sanction on Pakistan: The second strategy should be
economic sanctions. India should lobby with global powers for economic sanctions, similar to United States imposed sanctions on Iran, until Islamabad takes substantial measures to curtail terror emanating from its soil and stops cross border terrorism in India. The US is required to impose economic sanction on Pakistan because the Pakistan economy is surviving only because of US help.
3. Water War and Indus Water Treaty: The next strategy should be water war. India is in a position to engage ‘water war’ with Pakistan, to deprive Pakistan of water from the Indus River. No doubt this would be going back on India’s international obligations under the Indus Waters Treaty 1960. If India abandons this treaty, it can fashion water into its most potent tool of leverage to mend Pakistan’s behaviour. There would not be hesitation to violate this treaty because Pakistan has consistently violated the bilateral agreements with India especially the Shimla Agreement, which bounds both countries not to allow its territory to be used for cross-border terrorism. Treaty also denies India’s basic right to utilise the waters of the rivers of its own State of Jammu & Kashmir for industrial and agricultural
production and kept for India just 19.48% of the total waters of the six-river Indus system.
4. Cyber War: The next strategy should be cyber war, India’s best option be engage in cyber sabotage and cyberwarfare. Our capacity in this area is considerable, and it should be possible to engage in extensive cyber sabotage and cyberwarfare to bring Pakistan to its knees. This may be worth examining, instead of adopting ‘tit for tat’ methods with a ‘rogue’ nation.
5. Military War: The last strategy should be military war. The limited conflict of war in the LoC is not a big issue to attack in PoK area because it is disputed. India is in a position to dismantle the terror network in the PoK. There are many terrorist training camps which are being operated by jihadi organisations and supported by ISI. The most important issue is that New Delhi should have detailed information about these camps, then military options exist. Hard and good intelligence network is needed because these camps are running in the schools. So we have to see the collateral damage aspect too. Utmost care again needs to be taken when considering any military option.
The writer is Assistant Professor, School of Law, Justice & Governance, Gautam Buddha University, Uttar Pradesh